Nas & Eminem’s New Rankings Prove That Rolling Stone Is Still Clueless

Rolling Stone tries to right their past wrongs with a new Top 500 Albums list, but they overlook Nas and Eminem yet again.
Nas Eminem
Rolling Stone proves they're still clueless about hip-hop with their latest Top 500 album rankings. | Source: (i) Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com (ii) DFree / Shutterstock.com. Image edited by CCN.com.
  • Rolling Stone just released a revised version of its top 500 albums of all-time.
  • They made a clear attempt to be more inclusive and diverse than their 2003 list.
  • According to their updated rankings, Eminem never came close to Drake, and Nas “Illmatic” is the ninth-best hip-hop album ever. What?

Rolling Stone just updated their Top 500 Albums of All-Time list. In an apparent attempt to clean up the white-washed mess that was their original list, the magazine still has a healthy dose of hip-hop ignorance. Just ask Nas and Eminem.

While they may have improved their overall rankings, their place within the hip-hop genre is still incredibly off-base. Why is Rolling Stone still making these lists?

Nas Has the Best Hip-Hop Record Ever

It’s not even a hot take. Nas – “Illmatic” is the greatest rap album of all-time.

The unforgettable beats by D.J. Premier, Pete Rock, and Large Professor, the lyrical wizardry of a young Nas, and the complete lack of filler put this album at the top of most hip-hop fans’ lists.

Sure, it got a healthy upgrade to #44 overall from Rolling Stone’s unforgivable ranking of #402 in 2003. But it’s still lagging behind its rightful place.

Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” gave us several undeniably classic tracks, and it helped usher in a new sound. It deserves a high ranking, but outside of “G Thang,” “Dre Day,” and maybe “Let Me Ride,” these songs haven’t had staying power. As a complete album, it doesn’t compare to the lineup of “Illmatic,” and it shouldn’t be ranked ahead of it.

And as classic as Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album is, it, again, doesn’t hold a finger to the consistency of the debut from Nas. The same goes for “Ready to Die” from The Notorious B.I.G. They’re both all-time greats, but neither are bulletproof like “Illmatic.” Yet, both are ranked ahead.

If Rolling Stone wants to place Public Enemy’s “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” ahead for political impact, or if they want to call Lauryn Hill’s debut a rap album, then fine. But hopefully, by 2040, Rolling Stone will correct their own miseducation of Nas’ impact.

Rolling Stone Thinks Drake Is Better Than Eminem?

According to Rolling Stone, the Champagne Papi is better than Eminem. His album “Take Care” is ranked nearly twice as high as anything Eminem ever made.

Really?

The magazine placed three Kanye West albums above anything the best-selling solo rap artist of all-time put out.

Rolling Stone clearly wants to distance itself from any racial faux pas, but let’s stop being ridiculous. Eminem is touted as an all-time great MC from people from all walks of life. Watch rappers like 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Rakim, and Jay-Z give him props:

Give the man the bare minimum amount of respect.

Let’s not even talk about one of Eminem’s heroes, Tupac Shakur.

Tupac sputtered in at the very end of Rolling Stone’s list with a #436 ranking for “All Eyez On Me,” right behind The Roots and M.I.A.

Tupac is perhaps the most iconic rapper of all-time; he shouldn’t be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Maybe the writers at Rolling Stone just forgot to listen to “Me Against the World”?

Tupac deserves more respect. The same goes for Eminem. And Nas? If they didn’t get it right this time, they probably never will.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Aaron Weaver edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

2 Responses

  1. I agree with this list. Nas and Eminem both had very similar career trajectories and legacies. They’re incredible lyricists early on in their careers for a brief “flash in the pan” moment in time. Eminem’s music is so dated that even his “classic” albums are obnoxiously unlistenable today. When’s the last time you heard an Eminem song on the radio? How about Nas?

    Your case for Illmatic is 100% legit, too. This should have been ranked much, much higher.

    But Eminem is a fair assertion. None of his albums had the staying power that even a Drake album had. None of those albums are able to get beyond that three year span of time that is no longer relevant today. I’ve always seen Eminem as more of a “last of the next big things.” He was an incredible celebrity and leveraged that. His age, looks, and personality absolutely deserved the attention he got, but he was more than any other classic performer I think a personality that was far greater than his actual music. Can you even still listen to something like “Guilty conscience” today and not think, “What the heck was I thinking, this is retarded.”

    So I agree with Rolling Stone completely. Both Eminem and Nas are for the most part flash in the pan artists who spent three years having a classic career… and the rest of their career reflecting on that brief period of time.

    1. When u have albums like
      It Was Written
      The Lost Tapes
      Stillmatic
      God’s Son
      Distant Relatives
      Life is Good
      King’s disease
      I am

      U are FAR from a flash in the pan artist. Nas current album debuted in the top 5. Most reviews were positive. Just because he didn’t top Illmatic doesn’t make him disappointing. He’s LITERALLY the only rapper expected to top Illmatic.

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Aaron Weaver

Aaron Weaver

Aaron is the U.S. editor of CCN.com located in Los Angeles. He has been a professional writer and comedian for over ten years. After graduating with honors from Western Michigan University, he's written extensively for newspapers, websites, and various TV shows and web series. Email: aaron.weaver@ccn.com. , his LinkedIn profile here, or his Muck Rack profile here.

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